In our previous blog post, we listed the first five ways that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hurts American citizens, according to the American Association for Justice. Read on to learn more.
6. Secretly involved in state and local elections
The organization has secretly contributed millions of dollars to candidates at the local and state level. These candidates are always not only pro business, but pro Chamber. When the Chamber’s involvement in the electoral process has become known, numerous local and state chambers have resigned.
7. Linked to jury and witness tampering
The Chamber has been linked to jury tampering efforts when, despite its best efforts, lawsuits against its supporters have moved forward. For example, when Arthur Andersen was convicted of witness-tampering, the Chamber filed a brief in defense of the accounting giant, saying that activities such as Andersen’s were normal business routine.
8. Friendly with polluters
The Chamber often supports some of the world’s worst polluters. For example, when the BP oil well exploded, sending millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the president of the Chamber quickly spoke out in defense of the petroleum company, saying that the U.S. taxpayers should pay for the spill.
9. Advocates for mediation at the expense of the right to a trial by jury
The Chamber uses every opportunity to limit the ability of injured persons to file lawsuits. For example, it has been at the forefront of the mediation movement, advocating for contract language that requires mediation – a process that can easily be co-opted – in the event of disputes. These contracts always remove the ability to take legal action, suggesting the mediation is just as good. It’s not. However, the Chamber opposes mediation in union contracts, because in these case workers are more likely to have the upper hand. The Chamber does not seem worried that its advocacy is inconsistent.
10. Major corporations hide behind the Chamber
The Chamber apparently hides some of the money it receives for lobbying Congress. Since 2000, the Chamber has spent nearly a billion dollars in seeking Congressional approval for its biggest donors. It advocates for laws that are often very unpopular with the public, while the corporate sponsors of such advocacy are able to remain anonymous or in the background.
After reading this list, it should be clear the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is neither a friend of the ordinary consumer, nor a strong advocate for small businesses. It is rather an organization dedicated to promoting the interests of the largest multinational corporations in the world. Citizens should be wary of causes supported by the Chamber; these causes almost always will benefit the company at the expense of the ordinary person.
Source: American Association for Justice, “Top 10 Ways the U.S. Chamber Hurts Americans,” Oct. 24, 2012.